In the April 1, 2006 New York Times, anti-lacrosse extremist Peter Wood offered an interpretation of athletics at Duke dripping with the condescension of a figure safely ensconced in the upper middle class. While stereotyping all lacrosse players as bad people, he mused that “the football players here are often rural white boys with baseball caps or hard-working black students who are proud to be at Duke.”
It turned out that Wood’s allegations against the lacrosse players were baseless: (1) He claimed they had cut one of his classes to attend a practice, even though the absence was travel-related and had been cleared by the appropriate dean; (2) He claimed that one of them advocated genocide against Native Americans—on the basis, as he admitted to the New Yorker, of an anonymous student evaluation in a class of 65.
This morning’s Chronicle brings news that Wood’s stereotype might be shattered from another direction. With his team’s kicking game in disarray, football coach Ted Roof and his assistants held open tryouts for a placekicker. The star of the tryouts? Lacrosse player Bo Carrington, who was invited to try out at practice.
Carrington was a placekicker in high school. He told the Chronicle, “It’s been a long time. If there’s anything we can do to help out... if it’s kicking the ball or doing anything else, and we can help the team win, then, absolutely, I’ll do it.”
[It’s worth noting that in the photo of him trying out, Carrington was not wearing a baseball cap. He is, however, one of the hardest working Duke students I have encountered over the past 18 months.]
If Carrington makes the team, perhaps Wood can issue a press release modifying his remarks to the Times by announcing that his stereotypes of the football team do not apply to placekickers.
Hat tip: D.D.